Does it ever feel like you are fighting a losing battle for peace and hope and joy in your life? Some days go well while other days are just a mess. What makes one-day good and another day tough? My thoughts are usually at the heart of success or failure for peace. Today we will see how to think on these things (dwell on these things) for peace of mind.
What is Think on These Things About?
The specific think on these things Bible verse we are looking into is Philippians 4:8.
This past year we have worked our way through each word to find out how to get peace of mind. Finally, we’ve made it to the end of this verse, word by challenging word.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NASB).
Dwell on These Things Scripture
When I study a verse or passage, including this Bible verse, ‘think on these things’ I like to look at it in several versions to see how it shifts.
- Think on these things KJV
- Think on these things.
- Think on these things NKJV
- Meditate on these things.
- Whatever is good think on these things niv,
- Think about such things.
- Think on these things ESV
- Says, “think about these things.”
- Think on these things NLT
- If there is anything good and worth giving thanks for, think about these things.
- The Amplified Bible dwell on these things…
- Think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
Throughout the study, we have looked at the NASB which says Dwell on these things.
What is the Meaning of Philippians 4:8?
Philippians 4:8 is a great passage jam-packed with practical advice about how to wrangle our thought lives. Paul really ties it all together as he ends the verse with one phrase however you interpret it.
- Dwell on these things.
- Think on these things.
- Think about these things.
- Meditate on these things.
- Think about such things.
- Center your mind on them.
- Inplant them in your heart.
- Continually think about whatever is…
Define Dwell on These Things
This think on these things Scripture means to calculate, to weigh, to meditate on those thoughts. How do you dwell on these things in this methodical way?
We should continually think through the good thoughts. This will leave no room in our mind – or time in our days – to dwell on the negative things that destroy our peace.
This is hard work. Choosing to switch the pattern of our minds requires discipline and determination.
So, the Scripture think on these things portray the image of continually going back to thoughts that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, excellent, and worthy of praise. What does that look like?
A Dwell on These Things Illustration
In full disclosure, this illustration is not mine*, but I can’t recall where I first heard it, only that it helped me understand the idea behind continually thinking about these things.
Picture a cow with me for a moment. Maybe it’s the happy cow from California from the old commercials. The cow stands in its field all day. What is the cow doing? Chewing cud.
What is cud? At some point, it was grass or hey or grain or some combination of those things. The cow chewed and swallowed its meal. Happy cow.
Now, I cow doesn’t just enjoy its meal one time. Nope, to fully digest its food, the cow regurgitates its meal and chews some more. The regurgitated food is cud.
Over and over again the cow chews and swallows and regurgitates and chews and swallows until the cud is finally ready to digest. Over and over again the cow rechews the same food.
This is the idea of the phrase, think about these things in Philippians 4:8.
Chew on The Whatever Thoughts
For months, we have taken this think on these things Bible verse apart. We have examined each word, thinking about ways to think about all 8 of these whatevers:
- Of good report
- Worthy of praise
With each word we saw countless Scripture to think on, Bible stories to dwell on, and examples to meditate on.
Today we see that it is not enough to read about it or think about it one day. That will not bring us peace of mind. Instead, we have to think about these things and move on, then think about them again. Over and over, just like that cow chewing cud. But how?
How To Think About Such Things for Peace?
The key to learning to go back to these whatever thoughts, again and again, is so simple it hardly needs an entire section.
- Know why
- Create a plan
- Set aside a time
- Keep a journal
- Get accountability
Dwelling on these things requires discipline. Discipline requires consistency. But first, it requires knowing the benefit of all that hard work. Why learn how to think on or dwell on these things?
Why Think About Whatever is Good
Yes, knowing why you are committing your hard-earned time and resources to this discipline is critical. One thing that stood out from that think on these things sermon all those years ago was the why. Why dwell on the things from Philippians 4 6 – 9?
There is a promise of peace!
“Rejoice in the Lord always…
Let your gentle spirit be known to all people…
Do not be anxious about anything…
But in everything by prayer…
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever…
As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things…
and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:4-9 NASB (emphasis mine))
The Peace of God
So we circle back today to remember the promise God gives for those who take their thoughts captive and force them into obedience to Him. Peace.
Don’t you want peace of mind? The peace of God is so sweet, so beyond anything, we have ever experienced that it is considered beyond understanding.
The promise given is that His peace will guard your heart and mind. His peace will be with you.
Make A Plan
What do you have to do to obtain this promise? It goes back to everything we have seen as we studied verse 8.
- Rejoice in the Lord.
- Be gentle.
- Do not be anxious.
How can you live like that?
- Pray about everything.
- Give thanks in everything.
- Guard your thoughts.
How can you live like that? You have to make a plan. It’s not enough to know what is the Bible verse that says think on these things. You have to apply what it says!
How To Make a Plan
What would a plan look like? This is so simple.
- You just need to set aside time. Time alone with God will get you started really applying these truths.
- These devotionals
- Go back through the devotionals and take notes of where in your life your thoughts go astray.
- Be honest here.
- Spend time praying over those areas.
- A journal
- It is incredibly powerful to journal through ideas to replace stray thoughts. Your thoughts will be different from mine and your replacements will be different as well.
- Narrow it down to one word to focus on at a time and put your list of replacement thoughts where you will see them often.
- Be mindful of your thoughts for a while so you can catch the stray ones.
- Practice replacing them.
- If it works celebrate.
- If it flops, think of a workaround.
- Practice makes perfect.
Accountability Can Make This Stick
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. A prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much.” (James 5:16 NASB)
There is power in telling someone else you are struggling with anxious thoughts, or that you need to work on correcting your thought life. In fact, it will probably free them to confess the same thing. When we are real with each other we empower incredible spiritual growth!
You will also be more prone to keep working through this if you know a friend will ask how it is going.
Who is someone in your life you could ask to help keep you accountable?
Do Not Be Anxious About Anything
When we began I challenged you to capture your anxious thoughts for this season. To pay attention to any thoughts that start with:
- What if
What is the meaning of Philippians 4 6? Paul is warning us that if we allow our anxious thoughts to run wild, they will rob us of the peace of God.
Bible Verses About Meditating on God’s Word
If fact, this isn’t the only Bible verse think on these things related.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night…” (Joshua 1:8 ESV)
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Colossians 3:16 ESV)
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11 ESV)
Over and over again, the Lord instructs us to think about Him, His Word, and the things that are good. This just further proves the peace of God comes as a promise to those who guard their thoughts.
Will You Think on These Things and Gain His Peace?
I remember when I had to choose to do the hard work of making this my way of life.
- It took time.
- It took commitment and accountability.
But something amazing happened as the practice of replacing ungodly thoughts took root in my heart. The old things that triggered anxiety and depression became less powerful and peace of mind became my new normal. I believe that can be your story too.
Will you begin to think on these things? To dwell on them and meditate on them over and over again? It will bring peace to your life as well!
I’d love to hear how this is going for you. Drop a comment below and let me know!
in HIS love,
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